Marti’s Corner – 150

Hi Everyone,


**I usually have a can or two of evaporated milk on the shelf, but I NEVER use it!!!  And when I get ready to make pumpkin pie, which is maybe once a year, the milk has sometimes gone bad.  This article gives you some other recipes and reasons for using canned evaporated milk.  13 Best Ways To Use Canned Evaporated Milk

a) Diluting evaporated milk 50-50 with water gives you a pretty good milk substitute for recipes.  It’s NOT ideal in baking, but is delicious in hot chocolate

b) making rich smoothies and rich soups

c) cheese sauces

d) creamy casseroles

e) homemade ice cream

f) whipped cream

     Check out the article for additional ideas and recipes


**  I’ve been reading about different things people use to eliminate ants.  Especially in the South, they get “biting” ants that can be a big problem.  It seems like the most common remedies are:  a) Instant grits – not regular grits.  Must be common in the south, but I’m not sure we can get it here (although to be honest, I haven’t looked).  b) orange oil, available on Amazon  c)  cornstarch and cinnamon  d) sugar + baking soda + diatomaceous earth.

**  May Garden Checklist Zones 9-10 | Kellogg Garden Organics™



I followed my own advice and actually bought some sugar last week.  Four pounds was about $2.79.  Still higher than a few years ago, but cheap enough that I can sneak in a package of sugar each shopping trip and not notice it too much.

Cooking oil is another item that has nearly doubled in price.  Ugh.  However, store brand is cheaper, and frankly, I can’t tell the difference.  Get a 48-oz bottle,  write the date on it and stick it away.  My daughter gets the gallon jugs and then refills her smaller size when it gets empty.

MISC. PURCHASE:  toothpaste, extra toothbrushes

If you watch for them, you can find plastic packets with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss at WalMart for about $1.50.  I have one of these in each of my 72 hour kits.  In addition, you should have a 6 month supply of toothpaste.  It stores in the garage.  

When we were very poor, there were times when I brushed my teeth with straight baking soda, and sometimes salt.  They both work well for cleaning your teeth.  In an emergency, we’ll want to be careful with our dental hygiene because getting dental care may not be as easy as it is now.

And, as a side note:  if you do not have dental insurance or find that dental care is too expensive, look online for the nearest dental school.  I got this idea from my son in Texas.  He was self-employed and this is what their family did.  So, I looked up the one nearest me.  It’s a bit of a drive, but the prices are a small fraction of what a regular dentist charges.  I have been going there for years now and have had excellent care, including fillings and even a crown.  If you are skeptical or wondering what the experience is like, just email me and I’d be glad to share my experiences.

Suffice it to say, I had two crowns, 2-3 fillings, and several cleanings all for about $800.  Spread over 2 years, it wasn’t bad at all.


Chicken and Broccoli

This recipe calls for cream.  I usually use whipping cream, or heavy whipping cream, whichever one I have.  Here are some ideas on substitutions for cream.  7 Heavy Cream Substitutes to Use in Any Recipe | Epicurious One of those substitutions is heavy cream powder.  This is the one I have:  Hoosier Hill Farm Heavy Cream Powder, 1LB (Pack of 1).  A two-pack is cheaper per pound.

Chicken and Broccoli


Melt 1/4 c. butter in a saucepan.

Add 1/4 c. flour  Stir to make a roux

Add 2 c. chicken broth

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 c. cream

In a 13X9 pan, layer:

cooked broccoli – enough to cover the bottom of the dish.

Can use, fresh or frozen, or freeze dried reconstituted and cooked

Pour over 1/2 of the sauce

1 layer of chicken

     ( In the OLD days, I used to boil a chicken and debone it)  Now I use either canned chicken or shredded baked/boiled chicken breast)

Pour over the other 1/2 of the sauce

Sprinkle with 1/2 c. cheese

Bake 30 minutes at 350˚

Broccoli Rice Casserole

I like this recipe:  Broccoli Rice Casserole {Made from Scratch} – Spend With Pennies

In addition to the roux, you add cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese

BUT, in an emergency situation, you might want to use this one:  Broccoli Casserole with Rice Recipe

Cook 2 c. instant rice as directed on box.  If using long grain rice, Cook 3/4 c. rice in 1 1/2 c. water.  This will make 2 1/4 c. rice.


  • 3/4 c. chopped onion in
  • 1/4 c. melted butter


2 10-oz. packages of frozen chopped broccoli and drain.  Can use fresh or freeze dried.

Mix together, broccoli

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 16-oz jar of processed cheese sauce

cooked rice,

onion and butter

salt and pepper to taste.

Place in a 9X13 baking dish

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees

Others who made this had suggestions

1)  Use 1 jar Cheese Whiz and add 1 lb. cooked sausage.

2) Substitute Cream of Chicken soup for the Cream of Mushroom Soup

3)  Cut the recipe in 1/2 and bake in an 8X8 

4)  Use fresh steamed broccoli cut into small pieces and regular steamed rice cooked in vegetable broth

Creamy Ham Fettuccine and Broccoli

This is one of my favorite recipes, but ham is a difficult thing to store long term.  Wonder how it would taste with SPAM instead.  LOL  OR I guess you could use canned chicken instead of the ham?  You could just store jars of alfredo sauce, but this is so much better.

Cook 12 oz. fettuccine noodles


  • 3 TB finely chopped onions (I usually reconstitute dehydrated onions and use those)
  • 3 TB butter

   When onions are soft, add

  • 2 TB and 1 tsp flour.  Stir in to make a roux
  • 3 c. heavy whipping cream (see note above for substitutions)

Heat and stir constantly until sauce is thick and bubbly.

Add 2 c. broccoli florets to the sauce and let simmer.

I usually use fresh.  If using freeze dried, reconstitute for 20-30 minutes in water first, then drain.  Add to sauce, and they will finish rehydrating in the sauce.

Simmer for about 10 minutes or until broccoli is one to your taste.

Stir it:

  • 2 c. cubed ham
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese shredded or grated
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Add the cooked noodles or serve the sauce over the noodles with another sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Marti Shelley

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